Rob Ninkovich: Mac Jones was helping Cam Newton learn the playbook

So how did Mac Jones beat out Cam Newton? A former Patriots mainstay claims that Mac Jones showed a much greater mastery of the offense.

Linebacker Rob Ninkovich recently claimed that the rookie knew the offense so well that he was helping Newton learn the playbook.

Jones was having fewer “mental errors,” per Ninkovich, along with a better understanding of the offense. Ninkovich also pointed out that Newton did not run the no-huddle offense or two-minute drill during the preseason.

Fewer than two weeks ago, however, Newton was the starter — according to coach Bill Belichick. Jones took charge after Newton missed five days due to a COVID “misunderstanding.” Maybe Jones would have supplanted Newton sooner or later. Newton’s absence surely helped it happen sooner.